Ways to Boost Your Microbiome
The microbiome consists of microbes that are both helpful and harmful. Most are symbiotic, which means both the microbiota and the host benefit, while others cause disease or pathogenic. These microbes mostly live in your intestine and outnumber all the other cells in your body. They coexist in the body without any problems.
According to research, the more diverse the community of your microbiome, the less likely you are to suffer from health problems. However, any disturbances in the balance will cause the body to become more vulnerable to disease.
Below are some ways you can ensure that you have a happy and healthy microbiome.
- Eat plenty of fermented foods
Fermented foods contain live beneficial microbes, called probiotics. These microbes are your gut’s best friend. They play an important role in your gut’s health as they enhance its function and reduce the number of disease-causing bacteria in the intestines.
Yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, and kefir are mostly rich in Lactobacilli, a type of beneficial bacteria. Fermented soybean milk, on the other hand, promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium. You can also get probiotic supplements at your local health food store. Just read the label and see what strains are best for you.
- Avoid antibiotic
Antibiotics are your gut’s worst enemy. They are effective in treating illnesses, but they can very harmful to both good and bad microbes. They wipe out all bacteria, and it can take weeks to recover. Antibiotics, by their nature, can’t differentiate between good and bad bacteria. They work on a ‘kill now ask questions later’ model. So, don’t take antibiotics unless you need them.
- Increase your fiber intake
Green leafy vegetables have plenty of fibers that cannot be digested but are consumed by good bacteria in your gut. They are known as prebiotics, and they are served as foods for your microbiome. Your microbiome needs these foods so they have the energy to complete their task. Prebiotics can also promote the growth of many healthy bacteria in your gut. Aim for more than 40 grams per day.
- Cut back on sugar and avoid processed foods
Simple sugars are a fast-digesting type of sugar that gets digested quickly. Because they get digested rapidly, the probiotics in the gut rarely get the chance to consume them, leaving the little microbes starving to death. Also, hungry microbes can start feasting on your intestine lining, which can lead to inflammation. An excellent way to keep your microbes healthy is to alter your diet. Eat foods with complex sugar and avoid processed foods.
Steer clear also from artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharine, and sucralose. These artificial sweeteners can disrupt the metabolism of the microbes and reduce gut diversity.
- Hit the gym
Physically active people have more healthy, diverse microbiomes. A walk for at least 30 minutes a day could positively impact your gut health. Exercise could also help make your stress levels more manageable and your mental health as strong as possible.